What we’re thankful for this month: No wooden teeth!

There are so many reasons to give thanks this season: Friends, family and health, for example. As dentists in Ballantyne, we can’t help but to also give thanks for the many advancements that have made our industry safer and better.

Not too long ago, a cavity would mean missing a tooth or having a wooden one in its place! Fortunately, we have evolved past that. Take, for example, these advancements for which we give thanks:

The Tools

When you walk into a dentist office today, you see familiar sights: an automated chair and electric toothbrush, for example. In the 1700s, patients may have seen something called a “dental foot engine.” This is pretty much as frightening as it sounds. The dentist or the dentist’s assistant would use a foot pedal to turn a drill that would clean out a patient’s cavity. The downside, of course, is that the process then took much longer than it does now. On a positive note, the dentist sure got a workout!

The Research

Now, more than ever, we know so much about the mouth. We can detect cavities, gum disease and cancer at the earliest stages to reduce the chances of major issues down the road. When those problems do pop up, we have cutting-edge treatment methods that increase the likelihood of a healthier future.


It could take 30 minutes for a dentist to get a picture of your teeth 100 years ago. And just think: you would have to stand still the entire time! Now, it only takes a few seconds for us to grab a picture that shows us all the inner workings of your mouth.

Fillings and Veneers That Match Your Teeth

Thanks to all the advancements in cosmetic dentistry, we can now give you the smile you want! No longer do you need to have dark-colored fillings peeking out from the inside of your mouth. We can use realistic implants and veneers and fillings that match the color of your natural teeth.

A Comfortable Process

Back in the day, an anesthetic was little more than gripping someone’s arm or taking a swig of whiskey before undergoing a dental procedure. Today we can administer local anesthetics and use nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to help keep our patients comfortable. In fact, now many procedures are virtually pain-free!

We hope you are as thankful for these developments as we are!

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Alzheimer’s and Oral Health: What You Should Know


June is Alzeheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time when it is important for us to talk about this difficult disease and what we can do to help those affected by it. In addition to learning about the effects of Alzheimer’s and donating to groups that research it, we can also directly help the people we love who have it in a number of ways. Continue reading

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6 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Your Saliva

You may not realize just how powerful your saliva is. In fact, you might think it’s a little gross, right? Most people don’t talk about it, and we cringe if we see someone drool or spit.

Saliva, however, is really cool and an essential part of not just your oral health, but also your overall health. Here are six awesome facts about that stuff in your mouth: Continue reading

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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: When Should I Worry?

baby-bottleMany children use a bottle well after their first teeth have emerged. Though most children will start solid food around 6 months of age, they are still dependent on formula or breast milk to get all their nutrients for quite a while longer. Continue reading

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What You Should Know About Dry Mouth

Waking up in the middle of the night thirsty is one thing, but dry mouth – also known as xerostomia – is quite another. This condition can occur for a variety of reasons. Nailing down the cause is an essential part of finding the right treatment. If you think you may suffer from dry mouth, read on to learn more. Continue reading

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Should My Child Wear a Mouth Guard?

UnknownNow that warm weather is here, many people will be heading outside to enjoy the sunshine. For many, that means watching children’s sporting events or simply taking the kids to the park. No matter what the activity may be, there could be a threat to your child’s mouth – especially when the child is playing a contact sport. Continue reading

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Have Celiac Disease? Your Dentist Should Know

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, roughly on in approximately 100 people have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. When people who are affected ingest gluten, their small intestine is exposed to serious damage. Many people may not even know they have the condition until they are between the ages of 30 and 60. Continue reading

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Dental Issues? Here Are Foods You Should Eat

A toothache can be inconvenient based on pain alone, compounded by the fact that you may not be able to eat some of your favorite foods. Wearing braces can correct your smile, sure, but it does limit your diet. Our Charlotte, NC, dentist has some suggestions for what you can munch on no matter what the situation is inside your mouth. Continue reading

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5 Important Dental Tips for Seniors

People of all ages need to keep an eye on their dental health, though adults older than 60 may need to take extra measures. It wasn’t too long ago that people just assumed that we would lose our natural teeth as we got older, and there was no solution. Fortunately, with today’s technology, we can preserve natural teeth and give people sensible cosmetic options. Continue reading

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The Truth About Thumb-Sucking and Your Child’s Teeth

thumb-sucking.jpgFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month. We at Aten & Garofalo Family Dentistry focus year-round on keeping your child’s mouth healthy, but this month gives us even more reason to share tips with you. Continue reading

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